Once it became clear that the Los Angeles Lakers would not make the playoffs this year, many began to turn their attention towards the NBA Draft in which the Lakers only keep their pick if it lands in the top-3. There are two known prizes in this class, LSU’s Ben Simmons, and Duke’s Brandon Ingram.
Ingram has risen on most draft boards with some now ranking him ahead of Simmons, who has long been considered the top prospect in the draft.
It was always expected that Ingram would declare, but he made it official on Monday, penning an article on The Player’s Tribune:
Today as I declare for the NBA Draft, I’m both excited and sad about this moment. On one hand, one year at Duke isn’t a very long time. I know that. But I’ve done a lot of growing, and growing up, in that time. I know by leaving I’ll miss out on a lot of friendships and opportunities. I’ll really miss all the students who showed me so much love.
Ingram will be looked at very closely by the teams at the top of the draft as he is an extremely high upside player. The 6’9 forward averaged 17.1 points and 6.8 rebounds while shooting over 41 percent from three-point range.
The North Carolina native will still need to develop physically, but he has drawn comparisons to the likes of a young Kevin Durant and Tracy McGrady. This draft is viewed by most as a two-person draft class and Ingram could very well be the next promising Laker if the ping pong balls bounce in their direction.